During a heated Senate debate concerning a transit bill that would introduce regulations for car booking apps used in Brazil, an Uber spokesperson was struck in the face as the attacker shouted, “This is because Uber is destroying the lives of taxi drivers.”
The regulation was ultimately sent back to the lower chamber, where Carlos Zarattini, the original author of the bill and a federal deputy from the leftist Workers’ Party who has the support of taxi unions, intends to fight back.
The bill was rejected on two points; it required all drivers to own their cars and to also obtain special permits that would allow the cars to be equipped with the same red license plates that taxis carry. Uber spokesman Fabio Sabba said that the this was “not a regulation, basically a prohibition” against car booking apps.
A senior official at Brazil’s antitrust regulator CADE stated at a press conference that car booking app companies should not be regulated with taxis by saying, “Will parliament also ban Netflix because it strips market out of pay-TV, or because it has killed companies like Blockbuster? Will parliament also ban any innovation because, obviously, there will be losers? If the world is in the digital era of the Jetsons, why make Brazil live in the era of the Flintstones?”